Centre closure

We were shocked to read in Saturday's Chronicle (June 10) of the difficulties Castlecliff Health Medical Centre is having with the Whanganui District Council and that it may be facing closure.

Given the predicted shortage of GPs nationwide as many current GPs retire and the obviously high demand for services locally, indicated by the doubling of patient numbers and a waiting list to enrol with Castlecliff Health, we would expect the council, iwi and district health board to be actively seeking GPs, not putting obstacles in their way to the point they feel the need to publicly vent their frustration and raise their fees from $18 to $35 to remain viable.

The council is actively working to dispel the "zombie town" and "gang problems" perception of Whanganui to attract new residents. When we made the decision to move here with our then school-age family nearly 25 years ago, access to quality medical care was high on our checklist. We are sure it would still be the same with today's potential new residents.

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We commend Dr Thadigiri for his efforts to support the development of Castlecliff. We remember, when house hunting on our arrival here, real estate agents warning us not to be seduced by the low prices of houses in Castlecliff, and we were not shown any properties in that suburb. Even today people express surprise that we choose to go to the medical centre in Castlecliff.

We have been enrolled there for 18 months now and cannot speak highly enough of the friendly, professional treatment we receive from everyone involved in the centre -- receptionists, nurses, nurse practitioner and doctor.

Wake up, Whanganui. "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

MIKE and JILL JACKSON
Whanganui


Kiwis can fly

Our Kiwi boys are the flying Kiwis, and isn't it great with the commentary that you hear that word "Kiwi" and New Zealand mentioned so many times? It brings a lump to your throat, so with being 3-nil up, I wish Peter Burling and his team all the very best.

Proud to be a Kiwi.

GARY STEWART
Foxton Beach


Scooby-Don't

You've got to hand it to the Aussies. Scooby-Doo dog treats are manufactured and packaged in Australia.

Australians know they are dog food, as plenty of clues are provided on the packet, including "Pet Food Only", "supports skin and coat health" "treat your pet and train them" etc.

New Zealanders, apparently, aren't so sure or clued up.

This may at last put an end to the ongoing debate as to who has the higher IQ, Aussies or Kiwis.

A clever ploy by the Australians to sell the treats in New Zealand and provide the answer.

DOUG PRICE
Castlecliff


Just soulless

What soulless bureaucratic bean counter, sitting behind a Wellington desk, would cut funding to vulnerable members of our future generation who need support to help them through their school years? ("Beaten boy loses support funding/Schools oppose teacher aide hours cut", pages 1 and 2, Chronicle, June 16). The Better Funding, Better Learning roadshow, a primary focus of the news article and supported by three main educational unions, should be a wake-up call for all New Zealanders.

Compassion for our disadvantaged members of society -- children and adults -- is a sure indicator of how caring our society is countrywide.

Our teachers and school principals, via the travelling roadshow, are drawing our attention to a dire need in our schools.

I thank their unions sincerely for their investment in such an altruistic endeavour. They have put their money in an ongoing push for more teacher aide hours, to bring education to needy and disadvantaged children.

Such a collective, ongoing effort by the teachers won't bring them higher salaries. They do this because they care about society's future.

I have a suggestion for the teachers. Keep up with the roadshow, for it surely continues to encourage more of what the Chronicle did on its front page of June 16, i.e. publicise the actions of those petty, tormenting little egos hiding behind their desks.

They can't stand having their heartless edicts placed in a blaze of publicity.

I wish the teachers' roadshow all success with the push for "better funding, better learning".

STAN HOOD
Aramoho


Prompt action

Congratulations to Philippa Baker-Hogan for her prompt action in leaving her seat at Tuesday (June 13) evening's Labour Party meeting to attend to a distraught woman who apparently is having problems with her rates.

This was not a central government issue, and Philippa put her councillor hat on to assist. Great move, thanks.

JEAN McDAVITT
Whanganui